One Minute Movie Star

The Invitation:

I was cast in a project for Renaissance Architects with Boiling Point Media- it was to be a web video for the firm. They wanted a "host" for their web video to help narrate the video and they thought a pretty face would be well received. So, it was mid January and we had just wrapped the video and Ryan, the director, begins to tell me that they're making a movie and he'd really like me to come audition for it. It's an independent film, but they are hoping it does well, it's not the first movie they've made and their last one got them thinking they should make more. Well, auditions are this Saturday, January 23rd and he'd really like it if I could stop by. 

Andy & Josh on set at Renaissance Architects | Selfie w/ Ryan & Andy working | Script Selfie

Andy & Josh on set at Renaissance Architects | Selfie w/ Ryan & Andy working | Script Selfie

I say sure. That seems pretty cool. Can he tell me more about the movie and the role he has in mind? Well, he tells me, it's a horror movie. There are two roles I'd be appropriate for. One is the wife, and one is the mistress. I actually gave him a hard time when he said horror movie. I said, "What? Whore movie? Why did that make you think of me?!" 

I did promise I would come by that Saturday and he said he would email me the sides for the audition. What I thought odd at this point was, he was personally inviting me to come audition- and that was flattering, but he didn't want to schedule me and I had no idea why. He said they had people scheduled but that I could just swing by and they'd squeeze me in between auditions. I emailed him the next day and said I'd be there at 1. He said he looked forward to it. 

The Audition:

Day of audition I get there at 1 and they were just coming back from taking a lunch break from auditions, there were other people waiting but Ryan said, Connie's not on the schedule so we'll take her back first. -and when I enter the audition room, he says to the other guys, she's not on the list, but this is Connie Franklin, she's going to read Julie and Natalie. I don't know why I couldn't be a legitimate audition. I still don't know why. :) But it did make me feel special. 

Facebook post from my first Natalie Audition at Boiling Point Media

Facebook post from my first Natalie Audition at Boiling Point Media

So, I'm reading and I did both roles twice, so I could try them out differently. I gave both roles my 100% as I hadn't decided which character I wanted to play more. I liked them both, they both had their pros and cons. The wife/mother would be good because I am a wife and mother so I have that to draw from. Plus, she's the female lead, so she gets more screen time. But if there's a mistress, who wants to be the wife?! Right? She's the exciting one! The drawback is that she is a smaller role, but I could argue that she's more impactful. 

The second time I read for Natalie, the mistress, I say- "this is hard to stand here without anyone to interact with. The scene is Natalie seducing Adam, so can I borrow someone? Andy?" Andy was the camera guy for the architecture web video and he was there at the audition. Ryan says, "I'm cool with that. Andy, are you cool with that?" Andy stammers a little as he comes around the table and picks up a script he says, "okay but I'm not an actor..." My point was that the scene was more about the actions than the dialog. This character isn't what she says, she's what she does. I thought it went well. I felt pretty good about the audition when I was leaving, just based on their reactions and also the amount of time I was there. I was leaving at almost 1:45 and the waiting room was now full of people. I felt kind of terrible as I passed through with all those eyes on me because I, unscheduled, came in to audition and then hogged up a bunch of time and left all those people to wait and that's not really like me. 

So I wait, and I know it takes patience, but I'm very very lacking in this area. I've actually been doing better with this waiting game, but it's difficult. Every day, well multiple times a day I would think... I should send them an email. I'll just send them a quick email to make sure they didn't forget about me. This thought is silly- why would they forget about me? They're either going to cast me, or they're not. Sending an email isn't going to make them cast me. I know they know their options, and I know they need to make a decision soon because they told me they want to start filming in March. So, they're not going to just forget to cast these roles, "Oh! Thank goodness this girl emailed us! I can't believe we almost forgot to finish casting! Let's cast her since she emailed us first!" Definitely not. When I can't wait any longer, I send Ryan a message. I at least need to know if I should move on mentally. The waiting was killing me.

"Hey Ryan, I was hoping to have heard from you by now, but since I haven't, I'm checking in with you on the status. Thank you for the opportunity to audition. Have you finished casting for the roles I'm interested in?"

"We are still looking at you for the role of Natalie. I'm trying to get call backs scheduled to read with the male lead. Sorry I haven't contacted you earlier. It's been a crazy few weeks around here"

So I wasn't out of the running for the mistress, Natalie. This was exciting news, because it's the role I'd really wanted. Not just me, but Danielle exclaimed when I told her, too. YES! Another friend said, "of course they're not going to cast you as the wife. Did you really think you would? You're way too much "sex kitten" to be a believable wife." So I don't make a believable wife? I don't know how I feel about that.

I wait a week and finally Ryan contacts me about coming back in.

"Can you come by the studio on Wednesday at 730 for callbacks? "
The difference is, Adam, the lead will be there. So, I get to audition with the guy who I'll be playing opposite. Also, the girl they cast as the wife was there as well. This is great because I had been very curious about the rest of the cast. So, I'm preparing and going over the audition sides again. I go to the gym after work, as usual, and I record myself reading the sides on my phone, so that while I'm working out I can just listen to the dialog and the action. I hear something that almost makes me fall off the stair climber. I have an accent. I have an accent?? Number one, how could I not know this? How does one get to be 34 years old and not know she has an accent?? How could I have never heard it before? Number 2, how embarrassing! Something like a laugh escapes me and I can't believe what I'm hearing. Why am I talking this way? Make it stop!! I come to the conclusion that I don't do it during the dialog, mostly only when I'm reading the description stuff, which is comforting. So my speaking voice, my acting voice is less tainted. This is a tangent that really has nothing to do with the story, except that it was a pretty monumental moment - to me. I'd actually been told just a couple weeks prior that I had a bit of an accent when I was at another audition. But this lady had a background in dialect and she said she was picking up some "north western" in my speech. She asked where I was from and was proud that she guessed correctly. I didn't read too much into that since she was an expert with a trained ear. But this, this was undeniable. Anyway, back to the story here.

The call back:  

I walk in, fully confident that I can do this, I know I can do this. Adam is there, so I meet him. He introduces himself to me as the name of his character and he must have seen the look on my face because he said, "my real name is Adam too!" We laugh, okay, I thought he was just already in character... ha! "Julie" the wife is there to read with us as well. They have two stools set in front of the lights and camera, which bothers me. I can't do this scene with stools when the setting is a couch AND there is a couch in the room, just off to the side so I ask- "can we use the couch?" Sure, they say. We move the couch. This scene is still pretty awkward for an audition, but they say you know- we have this other scene, would you mind doing a dry read for us on that one?" 

This is my favorite part of the audition. This scene has more flow of dialog, shows not just a range of thought processes, but a range of emotion. I interact with the wife and the husband. I get to be aggressive, manipulative, sensitive. We do this scene twice and they love it. Ryan says, "Your face when you're talking to Julie! That was awesome! I didn't believe you at all!" This character has secrets, she's a liar and she's bold. It's a fun scene and it felt great to play it. When I get home and I'm telling Mike about it, I'm feeling pretty confident. I know I can do this. I know I can do it really well, too. It's a little difficult to go all the way in an audition- so I'm hoping they know that I really do have it in me, I just need the opportunity to let that shine.

The very next morning, this is February 11th I send Ryan an email to thank him for the call back and reiterate that I'm really interested and impress upon him my confidence in myself. He emails me back and asks for my phone number and then subsequently, he calls. This was a morning that was not going my way. The condensed version is, I was on my way to the gym to meet the girls for a bike ride but I was running late and I forgot that I needed gas (in my dedicated CNG car) so I go out of my way to pull into the closest CNG station and it's temporarily down and I have to go even more out of my way to hit the closest one. This is making me even more late AND I'm dangerously low on fuel. So when Ryan calls, my anxiety level is pretty high and he's talking and he's talking waaay too slow. It's that thing when you know someone needs to tell you something, but they won't just say it, they go through the whole preface, which is an absurd amount of words that you don't care about because you just want to hear yes, or no. Did I get it, or did I not?

"Hi Connie, how are you? Good, well, listen I wanted to call and thank you for coming in last night. You auditioned really well. Let me tell you first, we had such a hard time casting the roleof Natalie. It was the very last role left to cast, and we had seen a lot of auditions for it..."

 Ryan. I'm going to kill you. Tell me. 

"I'd like to offer you the role of Natalie ... " He's not finished, but I interrupt and while I'm exclaiming "GREAT!" He's saying "but" and I have to say, "but?" Well, some of the guys have concerns with my lack of acting experience, I'm a risk. But Ryan's point was that I had all the intangible qualities. He said it was the unspoken stuff that was very strong- I nailed all the sexy mannerisms and it was the eye contact and the tilt of my chin and the physical contact and closeness that he couldn't ignore. He said the rest he can direct, but he can't direct a woman to be sexy. This part needs to just be there. So he said if I'm willing to work hard and do a few rehearsals and make sure we get to where we need to be before we start filming then I can have the role. Am I confident that I can do that? YES. I am!! 

I accept the role, and we are scheduled to do a read through that Sunday (the 14th, Valentines Day) with the entire cast. I'm so so excited. 

The Read Through:

It's Valentines Day and they have scheduled the read through with the cast. It's at Boiling Point, and we are all sitting around a long table in a small conference room. Two of the actors are skyping in and we read the script from beginning to end. This made it feel very real to me. I was listening to all the other actors read their lines and their delivery was so good and I kept thinking, this is going to be so great. I mean, it's going to be a terrible horror movie yes, but it's also going to be great! There were jokes made around the table as we read and I teased Adam for his part in my fate. My character's fate. 

Wardrobe Shenanigans:

The weeks before we start filming, we have a group text going between Ryan, Adam, and me. These messages are so highly comedic, they have me laughing on a daily basis. We have a rehearsal so Adam and I can get more comfortable with our characters and the expectations of them. This was very beneficial, just going through the motions- getting the blocking figured out to see what looks natural, while still being strategic about getting from one line to the next. The evening was full of planning, and comical relief. I'm trying not to overthink this part of my role- the job is to suck the audience into the lives of Adam and Natalie, not make them cringe at how uncomfortable Connie looks. This doesn't make me nervous. I know I can get into my character's head and deliver the performance needed. We continue this group text for the following two weeks, going over wardrobe and more character backstory. Mostly wardrobe, because we decided that if Adam is going to be an architect that lands a girl like me, he's going to have to step outside his comfort zone a bit. No more plaid. No more hippie bracelets. No more baggy pants. I pick out a pair of Lucky jeans in a gorgeous dark wash & more modern fit, which he fights me on size (and it turns out they should have been another size smaller) and I borrow Mike's old Movado watch to accessorize him. I try to get him a suit, but the sizes weren't a match and the suit doesn't work out. It's fun teasing Adam about his wardrobe for the movie- it's a lot easier to tell him what to wear than for me to decide myself. Danielle and I have spent countless amounts of time going over options. Trying to create a cohesive style for my character that flows throughout the movie, flatters my shape, accentuates and enhances my best features and fits to the scene requirements. Color choices, seasonal styles, my best assets... it's harder than you'd think AND contrary to popular belief NOT everything looks great on me- or rather I want to choose what looks BEST. We're nailing it down tho, and if I didn't have Danielle's help I'd die. I can tell other people what to wear all day every day- but it's hard to take our own advice, isn't it? 

The Selfie:

The other task I've been given is to come up with a "SELFIE" that my character sends in a text to Adam. This ends up taking 6 separate tries in 3 separate days, getting the right "wardrobe", pose, and lighting. But, finally, finally, after hours spent looking at my own face in my phone and exposing a variety of bras (its a sexy selfie) I get the approval from Ryan. When I go through my phone to delete the excess, I have way over 300 superfluous images remaining. It's a lot. It was a lot of pressure! As I've said to friends, this is my legacy! This movie will be out there forever, and now this selfie! So, on one hand I was telling myself, I should be able to handle this- it's just a selfie. Just take one and send it. On the other hand, I want it to be really good and get just the right angle. 

332... Not kidding. And this was after I've already deleted a few from the first couple of "sessions" or "attempts"

I was going to include some screenshots of my texts with Ryan here to give you a peak inside my world, see more of how things are handled between director and talent. Plus, I found the conversations comical, because it's an uncomfortable topic. And, as a women, don't we enjoy making men squirm just a little? It was amusing. The reality of it is- I'm sending sexy selfies to a guy- but he's a director and he's directing and it really adds an element to the movie that helps adhere the two characters of Natalie and Adam. She's an attractive girl and she wants to remind him of that when he's not with her. So I sent them, and he'd give feedback.  Mostly, his comments were "This is nice, but can you get near a window so we have better lighting?" and "I like this bra, but lets go back to the first one, it was better" 

First Day of Filming:

My first day of filming was Saturday March 5th. In preparation for my role, I've been watching some pretty racy movies. Looking at women with ...motives. Basic Instinct, Disclosure, Chloe, Single White Female, Fatal Attraction, Cruel Intentions, as well as episodes of Scandal and The Good Wife. It's kind of humorous to see the watchlist on my Amazon. The morning of, I woke up and had a banana and then went for a 5 mile run. It felt so good, not only was the weather gorgeous that morning, calm breeze and crisp cool air with a blue sky, but my mind cleared with every pounding step. I know I can do this, I've got it. I've gone over the lines, the emotions, what Natalie's feelings and thoughts are on this day. I shower and get ready and Mike is grilling chicken and packing my cooler. I always take a cooler with me to shoots, so I don't resort to eating set food (typically chips, cookies, crackers, granola bars etc - packaged foods) He packs me a grilled chicken breast in a baggie, a boiled egg, an apple, a banana, bottled water and a protein shake.

My call time is 1230, but I get there early because I'd left my makeup at work the night before *ugh* so I had to leave my house early and drive to the store to do my face and Danielle was bringing me an assortment of designer shoes and handbags to complete my wardrobe. I feel like I did an exceptional job on my makeup that day- Danielle approved and told me I looked great, gave me hugs and ushered me off. My scene was the 2nd one to shoot that day, so I watched "Adam and Julie" have their moment before I show up at their door. Of course, with all the set up, tweaking lights and lenses and lines, the schedule starts to fall behind. But, being on set is fun- anything but boring. I enjoyed the hustle, the little details like the hazer, and all the film making lingo.

Adam looked sharp, despite all his complaining, the jeans I chose looked good on him, he was in a nice button down shirt, he'd trimmed his beard and shaved his neck... poor thing had razor burn to prove it. It was endearing, even with all his frowning. He's so easy to get along with, he laughs easily, he's encouraging. We talk through our characters and their back story. His marriage had a traumatic event involving the loss of a child, which created a rift between him and his wife. This is what caused him to look outside his marriage for happiness and he found me. It started as flirting, a dangerous and exciting thing for me, since he's a married man. But, I cared about him and watching him go through the pain of losing a child made me want to comfort him, if I could just to put a smile on his face again... We fell in love. Just two people who met at the wrong time, and now I'm waiting for him to make his choice. I want to make him happy, I want him to leave her and be with me and I'm slightly impatient. I have one scene to film today, and I love this scene because it's so fun. It's the one from the audition and I love the intensity of it. The bold confidence I have knowing I'm beautiful, knowing what I own and fully expecting things to go my way (which they don't, and that's upsetting).

We shoot multiple takes of the scene, getting the lines and blocking right, and then getting the necessary camera angles. I can't help but make jokes and I blame Adam for 50% of it. He's really hilarious and the intensity of the scene makes it way to easy to burst into hysterical laughter. We were all kind of changing our lines, making them more human, more natural. Saying what came to mind while sticking with the broad strokes of the script. So sometimes it comes out wrong, and sometimes Adam's "country boy" would escape. When the wife said, "did she have to go?" Adam said, "yeah, she had to git on outta here". and we all laughed so hard. By the time my scene wrapped, we had created a really great piece of the story that I'm proud of. Ryan, the director, says "alright everybody, that's a wrap for Connie." and the entire house full of people started to applaud, which embarrassed me! I tried to look appreciative but, really it was unexpected attention and I kind of ducked into my turtle shell.

I was there from noon to 5pm, but scheduled for 1230 to 3. Luckily, Mike is so supportive of me, and excited for me. My boys were all waiting in the driveway when I pulled up to the house. It was like reentering my real life, changed a little. This new experience. My first day on my first feature film in a principal role. I'm not trying to make it into something bigger than it is, I know it's not Hollywood, but its an impact to me and my family. 

Day two of filming was Tuesday the 8th. There is so much more I can describe about this day... but I didn't make time to put it all down ...
We shot an office scene where Natalie and Adam flirt at work and she makes advances on him. This is the first time I get physical with Adam. we film for 4 hours from 6pm to 10 pm. I wore a super tight (super expensive ) designer blue skirt and black blouse but I'm feeling bloated and uncomfortable so it's hard to get very relaxed. The sound guy has to strap my mic pack to the inside of my thigh because my skirt is so tight and the antenna of the mic pack is poking me... there. So that's on my mind the whole time! Haha. Everyone was happy and complimentary of my performance which is so helpful. 
The next day, I had to stop by the studio in the morning and I saw Ryan at the studio and had a great conversation about how well I'm doing and how he's so proud of me and glad he cast me.

Natalie's big day. 

I half expected to get nervous before filming the first time. I wasn't nervous at the audition really, but that was different. Audition gets you the part, but filming... this footage is going in themovie and it's forever. It's my legacy, it's my face and my name. If my performance is terrible then I can't take it back or change it, it's done and out there forever. And everyone will know, so I'm done, too. That'd be the end of my dream.
So, I thought I'd be nervous. I remember the feeling when I used to get nervous in high school theatre plays. When I heard my cue I'd feel ice hit my chest and I couldn't move and, I've always had this thing- when I'm nervous, I suddenly have to pee. Terrible terrible timing to walk out on stage trying not to pee pee dance. 
The first two scenes I filmed- not nervous. Nothing. Just a calm confidence and desire to have a lot of fun. This day is different tho. The scenes this day are another level. 
It's time to take Natalie up a notch and really establish her character and her importance. I take her from harmless flirting to, lip locking action. She's aggressive and confident, sultry and sexy but still playful. More important than dialog is my body language and my facial expressions to say all the things I need to portray. 
When I'm content, when I'm curious, when I'm confused, when I'm aroused, when I'm hurt, when I'm terrified. It's all on my face and I want to prove I can do this, and I want the camera to pick up on these things without me having to oversell it. 
The location was a super cool, very LA style house in Nichols Hills. Modern and simple with big windows and clean lines.

Natalie's house, because she's a stylish chick and an architect, so the design of the house was perfect. It was interesting and creative enough to be a good match for the character. We only used a couple rooms including the kitchen and bedroom, but the entire house was pretty cool. The owners were extremely accommodating and generous to let us take over their space ...well into the night.
I know what everyone wants to know. The kissing. I'm a married woman, very happy and in love with my husband so how could I possibly do this? I've got to say first, let's state the obvious. This is how movies get made. Acting. And this is what sells movies, sex appeal. This is the role I was cast in, a sexy mistress. From the beginning (with one exception) I wasn't worried about it, I knew the role. What kind of movie would have a mistress on screen with her lover and have no physical contact? A terrible movie that wouldn't be successful and people who did see it, would make fun of. 
I want this to be a good movie. I want it to play in theatres and I want to be a legitimate actress. I don't want to have (unrealistic) limitations that ruin the authentic feel of the character... because people will sense it. And then the director and his team will all regret casting me because I refuse to kiss this man. One of the best compliments I've ever been given is how professional I am on a job. I get this comment repeatedly, and I really take pride in that. It's the best compliment I can receive. 
So, while I apologize that this may be very difficult for a handfull of people to watch, the people who love me best, most especially my husband. I also want them to be proud of what I could do, not embarrassed by what I couldn't. An awkward intimate scene would have them cringing "oh Connie. How embarrassing. she's better than this." Do it right, or don't do it at all.
If I could state my highest goal, it would be for no one to see Connie on that screen but instead Natalie only. 
I have to a knowledge how huge of a sacrifice this was for my husband. To share me, the me that should be only his. A sacrifice he thought he'd never have to make and he did it for my dream, my dream of being an actress.

So Natalie doesn't drive an mommy mobile Acura MDX like Connie does, she drives a white Range Rover and my friend Marissa was on set for the first scene lending us her car to have parked in Natalie's driveway. I was hesitant to have "my people" on set because I didn't want "Connie" getting in my head. I'm a professional. Marissa told me before she left that I did amazing but that it was hard for her to see her very close friend kiss another man. She actually said, "don't ever let Mike see that. He'll never get it out of his head" well shit. That was just the goodbye kiss in the driveway. In a couple hours I'm really about to throw down! 
On set we talk about our families and our real lives a little. We are all regular people, too. Adam talks about his wife and kids and asks me things about Mike. Everyone is very respectful and I like bragging about my husband , the kind of man he is, and his accomplishments. It makes me feel like I'm worth more, to be tied to such a great man. I'm not just a pretty face and a rockin body, somebody loves me for more than that.
I can tell you, when I kissed Adam the first time, it was with the portrayal of Natalie's emotions displayed on my face and in my eyes, but it was just skin. It was just another set of lips. It didn't give me butterflies and there were no fireworks - it wasn't what I had in August of 2005 after my first date with Mike. It was exactly how I expected it to be, professional. Which is kind of strange when I think about it since a kiss is so intimate. It contradicts my childhood beliefs of romance. Anyway....just an interesting thought.
After the scene in the driveway, we shot a phone conversation at night in Natalie's bedroom. She's talking to Adam while sitting in bed with a book and glass of wine. I brought a selection of nighties to wear but I already knew which was my top choice. It was one Danielle let me borrow for the scene. Black with a sheer pattern, but not over the top. It was her favorite as well, but Mike said I should bring a few with me just in case they find the sheer pattern too distracting (I went over all the choices with him, in a nightie fashion show, to get his opinion). Ryan has let me be my own costume designer up to this point, trusting me to understand my character better than anyone else, so there wasn't any nightie debate. The crew blacked out the windows since it was still daylight, and this was a night scene. Josh McKamie shot all the footage that day, which up to that point it had been Andy, but he was out of town. The director sets up a table with monitors for every scene so he can watch what the camera is getting and most times, this "video village" it's called, is in another room. Or, at least around the corner. The bedroom was just Josh behind the camera, a crew guy holding the boom mic, and Adam, actually laying down on the floor off camera feeding me the lines of his side of the conversation. What I enjoyed about working with Adam is how we could talk through each scene, going over dialogue but really mostly going over the motivation behind our characters and what's really going on with them. Ryan, knowing this story is his baby, also knew that he could only know and understand his characters that he created up to a certain level and beyond that- it's the actors who are the experts. So Adam would say, "I want to say something like... this" and we would try it and see how it came across. During this conversation I decided to add a line that he'd been acting like an asshole earlier that day and he adds his defense "you came to my house! What do you expect!? She (Julie) isn't stupid" and I smile, because I'm devious like that, and I know it was a bold thing to do, and also, a little bit, I do think Julie is stupid. It's actually a very light part of the conversation, we banter to show feelings for each other. I thought that was awesome. 

This is my phone call scene. Adam calls me while he's driving home and I'm just alone, in bed, drinking wine and reading my book.

This is my phone call scene. Adam calls me while he's driving home and I'm just alone, in bed, drinking wine and reading my book.

My final scene is long and complicated and has basically two parts. This is the main intimacy scene when Natalie comes home to him waiting for her and she knows this is the moment where he has really become hers. It's intense because of what Adam has suffered through by now, Natalie is oblivious to any of it and thinks he's just emotional from leaving his wife. Part two of this scene is where Natalie gets attacked by the creature and is gruesomely killed. We didn't want me to fight the thing because that would be hard to make it looks real. So it was planned out as a quick death to make it easier on me to do it in a believable way.

The special effects team created a prosthetic throat that was slit and that will be combined with other computer graphic effects, which in the end will all come together to make the magic of my death. We do this take after take, in pieces. I have to admit, the attack is by far my weakest performance and I couldn't understand why I wasn't doing what my mind knew I needed to do. I couldn't make it happen. It was incredibly frustrating but Ryan said he got one he could make work. I'm trying not to dwell on the disappointment and trust that if it wasn't good enough, we would have just kept going. Ryan wouldn't do that, bad footage would not have been acceptable. The fall to the ground and the actual dying were good, I'm completely happy with those scenes. They're sad, heartbreaking. Wearing only that lace cami and miniskirt, with blood trickling down my chest and back I was shaking uncontrollably with chill. My teeth were chattering! But Adam said it was good, it looked like convulsions. Between takes I laid cradled in his arms, both of us covered in blood. I actually wanted to cry, it was so sad. If I hadn't been so cold, I would have! 

post death scene with my makeup artist, Jenna Green

post death scene with my makeup artist, Jenna Green

The special effects team had a tube running through my prosthetic throat so it could pump out blood and they also poured blood into my mouth so I could gurgle, choke, cough & spit blood into Adams face. A small payback for that shitty gift. I wish I could recount all the times someone would make a small joke and get the whole cast and crew busting up laughing. With all the tension and seriousness, it was a brittle atmosphere that could be broken with a snap. There were too many jokes to be made, we were laughing every 5 minutes or more. I have to say that in order to describe the experience accurately. I can be sexy and I can be serious but I also love to make people laugh and this whole damn day could have been pretty uncomfortable without any comic relief. I'm walking around with half my chest exposed to a crew of nearly all men, the exception of Hannah and then Jenna (special effects makeup) I wasn't going to let these guys off the hook that easy. I was impressed they're all very well trained, grown men. I never saw an eye wander. Adam on the other hand was determined to stay solemn, he tried to rebuff my comedic attempts and maintain the dark place of his character. The thing is, my character didn't know anyone had died, so I wasn't living in a confined emotional box that he was. My character just needed physical affirmation from her lover. And I needed to portray an attitude of confidence and comfort in his presence. Not only that, but my character was a woman who'd been touched by this man for years, not someone who'd only just met him and hadn't ever been within those intimate inches. 
Ryan and Adam, kept checking on me. Am I okay? I'm I comfortable? They wanted to make sure I felt safe. It's a vulnerable time for me. I was good tho. I'm not saying I want to hurriedly seek out a bunch of acting jobs that get me more intimacy scenes, so I can' climb all over a bunch of random strangers... in fact I hope I can steer clear of that for a while and get some work that doesn't require kissing! If for no other reason than the potential of getting type cast. 

an image Ryan sent me while working on my scene- adding in the special effects of the gremlin

an image Ryan sent me while working on my scene- adding in the special effects of the gremlin

We filmed long into the night, my scenes wrapped, they still had to get the scene of Adam leaving my house - so the rest of the cast and crew stayed even later than I did. I couldn't help but stay and watch Adam for a bit, whose performance struck me as phenomenal. In some perverse way, it was satisfying watching someone be so tore up about my death.  It was 2am and I needed to get home, I had a flight to catch in the morning because Mike and the boys had driven to Arizona the day before- kickstarting our spring vacation. The way the filming schedule landed we decided that I'd stay behind to film and then fly out solo on Sunday morning which was also daylight saving time change... in less words, this is all to say I filmed really late, had a really early flight AND lost an hour on top of that. 

Driving home in the middle of the night I still had blood streaks on me that we couldn't wipe away, blood soaked hair, and exhausted eyes. The fear of getting pulled over was ... gripping. What could I possibly say? I made it home, without event, luckily.  30 minutes in the shower watching the blood run down my body and then I got in bed for 1 hour, my alarm set to wake me to head to the airport at 6am.  Madness. 


Sitting on the plane, I felt different. I felt - changed. Better. Better? I hate to confess that, but I did. My body felt inflated with pride. My heart was so full I couldn't help but tremble from the energy that was surging through me. I looked around me and felt like I had a secret. Secretly knowing that I was among all these people who were completely unaware that they were sitting next to a movie star. Knowing I've created my legacy.  Yes, I was sleep deprived and probably experiencing hyper sensitivity as a result but, it's an amazing sensation. To feel a line in my life, so bold and so precise, a line that divides my life into "before" and "after".

It's hard to accept that I'm done filming for this movie. Endings are hard. I hope every day going forward I feel confidently proud for what I've accomplished. I have a small fear, of course, of being judged negatively for it. But if I have one hope, it's that I never regret accepting that role. It was a really cool dream come true and an opportunity that felt like destiny. I hope that my biggest fans, my family and loved ones can support me and be proud so that I never have to question it.

Connie D Franklin2 Comments